Garrett Leight California Optical's EMEA Director of Operations Justin Steinhardt wearing Ace Sunglasses.

At Home with Justin Steinhardt

Is Europe getting back to something resembling 'normal'? Is there a new 'normal'?

Things started to ‘normalize’ earlier this summer when travel within Europe became possible. Personally, I don’t feel affected in my daily life anymore. For a few months now, I’ve been able to go out to eat or drink and go to yoga class. I’ve rarely had to wear a mask in Amsterdam since it’s only required on public transportation and in the busiest shopping streets, which I avoid anyways. 

Update: After writing this, new restrictions were introduced in Amsterdam. You just have to roll with the punches…  

Boat on a canal in Amsterdam. GLCO's Director of Operations Justin Steinhardt bike riding in Amsterdam.

With the new launch of, what are you most excited for?

I’m most excited for all the challenges and opportunities coming our way, both personally and as a brand. I’m the type of person who gets tired of sitting still and loves to take on new projects. Having never worked in e-commerce before, this is an amazing opportunity for myself and others on our Amsterdam team to learn and grow. Also, more so now than ever, the digital space is critical for companies like ours to connect with their customers. I truly believe this expansion is only going to help increase brand awareness and demand, and ultimately strengthen all our sales channels.

Have you introduced any new routines or rituals since the pandemic?

I’ve gotten more and more into running this year; since the pandemic, I’ve started running pretty much every other day. Usually I try to go out around lunch time, which I’ve found to be a great way to break up the workday. It helps me stay energized and focused.

GLCO's Justin Steinhardt working at home. GLCO's Director of Operations Justin Steinhardt going for a run in Amsterdam.

What're you wearing?

Lately I’ve been living in these pants I bought last time I was in LA at Trading Post, across the street from our La Brea store. They’re so comfy and I don’t feel guilty for wearing sweatpants all day. I’m very basic and predictable—t-shirts and Vans, and everything else just collects dust in my closet. Same when it comes to my eyewear. I’m always wearing Kinney, which were my first GLCO glasses and still my all-time favorite shape. My current rotation is Champagne for sun and Matte Black with Blue Light lenses for work. When I’m looking to shake it up and go with a bolder look, I’m wearing Ace in Black Glass.

What do you do when you need a mood boost?

If it’s nice weather after I get done working, sometimes I’ll take out my boat ‘The George Castanza’ for a little evening cruise on the canals. Or I’ll go to a local café for some Jupiler & bitterball, a deep-fried Dutch snack that’s become a guilty pleasure. 

What’s the first thing you did when lockdowns were lifted?

In May when travel was allowed within Europe, I bought a plane ticket and went to Sweden to visit friends and go snowboarding. I worked remotely from my home in the mountain village Åre. The lifts were closed but there was still tons of snow and great conditions for splitboarding. I also took a road trip to Riksgränsen, north of the Arctic Circle on the border with Norway, which was the only ski resort in in the world that didn’t shut down because of the pandemic. Anything to get my fix.

Jupiler beer and bitterball, a deep-fried Dutch snack. GLCO's Director of Operations Justin Steinhardt snowboarding in Sweden.

What's the latest news that made you smile?

I think we can all agree there’s been a serious lack of positive world news in 2020. The best piece of news for me was finding out I’m going to be a Dad in November!

GLCO's Justin Steinhardt snowboarding in Sweden.